Social Skills: Balance Your Schedule of Activities

Dilemma: Summer is fun for kids and adults alike, and often a time for vacation and rest.  It is also hot and there is plenty of unstructured time which can lead to concerning behaviors. 

Everyday Solutions(s): Have at least some sort of structure to each day.  Rest or down time is important and you need not structure all times of each day.  The goal is to have a framework but also work with kids on learning to entertain themselves.  Sometimes having a list of possible activities to choose from during free time can avoid boredom or reports of “nothing to do.” 

Sōsh Approach: Use the Sōsh mobile app Interest Log.  It is important to NOT spend too much time on any one activity (especially if that activity is done alone). The Interest Log provides you with a template to track your interests and the amount of time you engage in your interests (e.g., INTEREST: Play Video Games; TIME: 4 Hours). The more varied your interests, the more likely you will connect with a variety of people and make new friends.Too much of anything is never a good thing!

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Social Skills: Summer Play Time

Dilemma: Summer is fun for kids and adults alike, and often a time for vacation and rest.  It is also hot and there is plenty of unstructured time which can lead to concerning behaviors. 

Everyday Solutions(s): Have at least some sort of structure to each day.  Rest or down time is important and you need not structure all times of each day.  The goal is to have a framework but also work with kids on learning to entertain themselves.  Sometimes having a list of possible activities to choose from during free time can avoid boredom or reports of “nothing to do.” 

Sōsh Approach: Use the Sōsh mobile app To Do feature so that the child knows his or her schedule for the day and can carry it (on an Apple device) and check in on the list instead of asking you what there is to do! Just take a few minutes to set up the list at the beginning of each day and save yourself lots of arguments and suggestions of how to fill the time that day.

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Dr. Bowers Releases Sōsh™ Daily News

The Sōsh™ Daily News is a new publication from Dr. Mark Bowers that is published each evening (usually around 5 pm EST) and combines the latest news and articles about social skills and autism spectrum diagnoses.  You can read a recent issues by clicking the link below.  If you like it, you can subscribe on the Daily News page.  Or, you can follow Dr. Mark @MYSOSH on Twitter or click on the tweets feed to the right of this WordPress page.  Enjoy the Sōsh™ Daily News!

http://bit.ly/lOSq5X

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Social Skills: Screen Time

Dilemma: Your child loves to play video games, portable game systems, use the computer, and/or watch television shows.  Transitions away from screen time are difficult and create arguments. 

Everyday Solutions(s): Limit daily screen time to 1-2 hours per day.  Providing structure and alternative, physical activities helps to naturally limit screen time.  Summer is a great time for swimming, camps, and other outdoor activities.  You may also consider using a token box that can be purchased from Family Safe Media.  This device attaches to the game console and allows electricity to the game system depending on the amount of tokens the child inserts into the device.  You control the tokens and use them as rewards.  Thus, completing a daily chore might be worth one token, which “buys” the child 15 minutes of game time.  When the time is up, the device shuts off, which teaches the child to use his or her time wisely.  It’s tough to argue with a machine when it is time to transition. 

Sōsh Approach: Use the Sōsh mobile app Transition Timer.  As stated above, the incidence of argument is substantially lowers when a timer rather than a caregiver makes the transition announcement.  The child can also be encouraged to log his video game activity in the Sōsh Interest Log and can be rewarded for staying within your screen time guidelines or transitioning without incident.  Further, having a child journal his or her strong feelings about transitions (once calm) can help to increase emotional awareness and self-control during future transitions.  For an in-depth explanation of these and other effective transition strategies, check out this book.  

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Social Skills: Interrupting

Dilemma: Your child talks over others or otherwise interrupts what they are saying.

Everyday Solution(s): Correct the behavior in the moment with a verbal warning (e.g., “You need to wait your turn”), use a method such as 1-2-3 Magic to count instances of interrupting up to three incidents before giving the child a consequence, practice/role-play turn-taking (and turn the table so that you interrupt the child for perspective-taking practice), or read a story/write a social story about interrupting and its effect on interactions.

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Sōsh Approach: Use the mobile app to video record the child engaging in the behavior (i.e., interrupting) and then ask him or her to monitor how often it occurred using the Regulate >Tracking page of the app. Finally, open the Recognize > Feelings page of the app to document and archive the effect of the interrupting on the other person so that learning can generalize. 

To learn more, visit www.mysosh.com.

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Dr. Bowers Creates Mobile App and Releases Book to Help Children & Teens Improve Social Skills

Sōsh is the new word in social skills development.  It is also a new mobile app that helps young people improve their social skills “in the moment.”  Dr. Mark Bowers, a pediatric psychologist and app co-creator released the Sōsh app today– moving social skills training into the high tech, mobile app world.  In addition to real-time, portable tips and tools for individuals with social skills difficulties, the mobile app also provides activities and feedback to parents, teachers, and therapists for guidance and review.  For individuals ages 9 to 22 years old, difficulty with social interactions is a leading cause of stress and one of the most common calls for help.  With exercises, strategies, and a wealth of practical information regarding social skills, Sōsh will assist the user every step of the way.  The app is available in the iTunes app store.  Visit www.mysosh.com for a full review of the app’s potential to improve social skills.

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Sōsh for Social Skills

Welcome to the Sōsh blog dedicated to helping individuals improve their social skills.  Stay tuned for weekly content updates.

Sōsh is an approach developed by Dr. Mark Bowers, a pediatric psychologist, that divides social functioning into five areas essential to social skills development and success: Relate, Relax, Reason, Regulate and Recognize.   These “5R’s” serve as a road map for individuals who want to be social, but may have faced obstacles in the past; and also serve as a guide for parents, teachers, and therapists hoping to encourage and assist individuals with their social goals.  

The Sōsh mobile app is available for “in the moment” social skills help and Dr. Bowers has also published his book: Sōsh: Improving Social Skills with Children and Adolescents.  Visit www.mysosh.com for more information on these exciting developments.

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